Laying Down Our LivesWhat sometimes holds you back from laying down your life for others?
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Fire blazed forth from the Lord’s presence and consumed the burnt
offering and the fat on the altar. When the people saw all this, they
shouted with joy and fell face down on the ground (v.24).
Over the past few months, I‘ve encouraged my husband to create a small fire pit in our
backyard. As someone who enjoys camping, I love sitting on a cool night in front of a blazing campfire with a mug of hot chocolate in my hands. Tonight as we sat with family near the crackling flames (in the freshly completed fire pit), we reminded our children that the inherent power in fire evokes respect.
Praying for renewed spiritual vigor, referencing past powerful revivals, and asking God to change the hearts of the nations in which we live, we often use the term revival fire in Christian circles. Sometimes, though, I wonder if we really know what we’re asking for when we pray for the fire of God to rest on our lives. To the priest, fire meant sacrifice. While we live under the New Testament promise of Jesus who is both our perfect priest and complete sacrifice, we must be careful not to lose sight of the fact that God was and always will be holy. Although He removed the veil, He didn’t change His nature (Psalm 102:27; Mark 15:37-39).
Responding to the holiness of God, however, does not make God any less tender and compassionate. If anything, knowing He’s worthy of reverence and respect makes His love for us even more evident. God, who has the power to sustain life and who holds jurisdiction over the soul as well as the body (Matthew 10:28), cared enough to offer up His life on our behalf. And He didn’t stop there. In spite of our frailty and brokenness (Psalm 78:38-39; 2 Corinthians 12:9) and knowing we will fail Him, He desires closeness with us. He sings songs of deliverance over our lives and hears the cries of our hearts (Psalm 69:33, 116:1). God’s holiness continues to blaze.
Read 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 and 1 Peter 1:6-9 to see the connection between
trials in our lives and the purifying fire of God. In what ways do trials
produce holiness in us?
What does a life that burns strong for God look like? Is this your life?
Why or why not?
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